ATHENS – Major rival SYRIZA leader and former premier Alexis Tsipras’ call for early elections would blow up in his face based on another survey showing Prime Minister and New Democracy chief Kyriakos Mitsotakis with a commanding 11.5% lead.
That came on the heels of another giving Mitsotakis a 13 point lead over Tsipras, who he unseated in a rout in July 7, 2019 snap elections that also backfired for the leftist leader.
An opinion poll from ALCO for private broadcaster Open showed New Democracy with a 32.6-21.1% essentially unassailable lead over SYRIZA and the marginal center-left Movement for Change (KINAL) getting a bump up after electing Nikos Androulakis as its new leader.
Androulakis, 42, a Member of the European Parliament, easily beat back former premier and one-time party leader George Papandreou to replace Fofi Gennimata, who tragically passed away.
His elevation doubled support for KINAL, now registering at 13.6% in the survey although it wasn’t known if that would be a one-time boost or would help raise its standing again.
KINAL is led by former veterans of the now-defunct PASOK Socialists who went belly-up when former party leader Evangelos Venizelos agreed to take it as a junior partner into a coalition led by New Democracy.
That required the Socialists to support harsh austerity measures to which they were opposed, and saw PASOK’s popularity plummet so far and so fast that the party disintegrated and morphed into a center-left band.
The poll also found that 56% believe KINAL will perform better under the new leadership of Androulakis although he’s given only vague ideas about how to resurrect it.
The poll showed KINAL’s pickup cost support for the politically irrelevant KKE Communists who slipped to 5.4%, followed by the ultra-nationalist Greek Solution at 3.6% and 3.5% for the MeRA25 of former SYRIZA finance chief Yanis Varoufakis, said Kathimerini.
The disbanded neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, whose leaders and dozens of members are in jail after being convicted of running a criminal gang, still got 2.1% while former parliamentary speaker and one-time SYRIZA stalwart Zoe Konstantopoulou’s Sailing for Freedom got 1.1%.
Then came the nationalist Greeks for the Fatherland of ex-Golden Dawn spokesman at 1%, although he’s in jail and 3.1% for all other parties combined.
A threshold of 3% is needed for parties to get into Parliament although that leaves them essentially voiceless and without any power to affect any of their agenda. Some 12.9% of voters were undecided.
Mitsotakis got 38% of the vote of those asked whom they most trusted to be Prime Minister compared to 23% for Tsipras who fell out of favor after reneging on his anti-austerity promises during a 4 1/2-year reign.
Tsipras did manage, however, to make a decided impact with his complaint that Mitsotakis and New Democracy have bumbled the response to the COVID-19 pandemic with 63% saying they weren’t satisfied with the Premier.
The biggest concern for most – 47% – is the pandemic, with 40% worried about their family finances, 8% about crime and 3% about Turkish provocations that have brought fears of a conflict.
As the pandemic has worsened because of anti-vaxxers spreading the Coronavirus, 44% agreed with Mitsotakis’ government to fine those over-60 who refuse but 48% disagreed.
When asked if 2022 will be better or worse than 2021, 41% answered worse, 34% better and 20% said the same.